“Current technologies facilitate the instantaneous acquisition, manipulation, and subsequent redistribution of perceptual experiences.”

This excerpt is from Darien Johnson’s artists statement. He goes on to describe his work  as representations of “entanglement of human cognition and digital processing”. Its so fitting to be reading about Darien’s work on this blog.. the information presented here has been processed over and over : Typed, edited, transcribed from a face-to-face interview in Seattle, recorded on an iphone, listened to again, scheduled over emailing and texting, saved in Word, uploaded, and published. It is this flow, editing and rendering of information that he explores in his work and curatorial practice.

Darien currently teaches at Buffalo State College. He attended Arizona State University for graduate school where he studied with and befriended Susan Beiner. Together, they curated a show, Elastic Authenticity, at the Morean Arts Center in conjunction with NCECA 2010. Participating artists included  Dylan Beck, Susan Beiner,  Katie Caron, Bryan Czibesz, Del Harrow, Gail Heidel, Darien Johnson, Casey McDonough, Mathew Mcconnell, and Megumi Naitoh.

Darien’s next curatorial project is soon coming in conjunction with NCECA 2013. Participating artists include: Julia Haft Kendal, Brian Gillis, Linda Lopez, Christina West, Darien Johnson, and Brandon Johnson (Darien’s brother and documentary photographer). Inspired by the Earth and Energy conference theme, Brandon interviewed artists, shot images in Huston and sent images to the above mentioned artists who will then make something in reaction to the photographs. Darien describes it like the classic game of telephone. Its an investigation of how information gets filtered through different types of media. The show is named Call and Response and will be at the Jung Arts Center, Huston, TX. Be sure to visit the exhibition when you are in Huston!

The concept for Call and Response runs parallel to themes in Darien’s work. He is interested in human perception and how digital media is so integral in our world. His porcealin forms are intuitive, rooted in abstracted body forms. Digital images that capture real experiences are used to produce “digital collage”  which negate place & time. All of the imagery is China painted and fired multiple times. The often used acrylic infused thread  manifests the idea of digitalizing something since it looks like information transmitting wire common to  electronics.

To Darien, the 3D form enables viewer to interact w 2D image in real time and space and through this blend, awareness is heightened.  He believes his work most successful if the work is communicating ideas while at the same time it maintains some ambiguity.  He hopes that the work asks more questions that can be answered, creating a curiosity.

Darien’s advice for budding artists is to “Supplement your studio practice with research and intellectual investigation and develop tenacity like you never had before.”